From the explosion of digital-first content to brand acquisitions to major organizational changes, the following stories represent the deals and companies that shaped the licensing business in 2013 and were also among the most widely viewed.
DreamWorks: New Team, New Dream Click here to read the article
In addition to re-organizing and re-focusing its consumer products division, as discussed in License! Global’s June cover story, DreamWorks made a series of huge acquisitions (Trolls, AwesomenessTV) that will shape the studio for many years to come.
Disney Unveils New Game System Click here to read the article
The year was punctuated by big news from the world’s No. 1 licensor, but perhaps the most significant move Disney made in 2013 was the launch of its new interactive gaming platform, Disney Infinity.
The Timeless Doctor Who Click here to read the article
Fans and licensees around the world celebrated the 50th anniversary of the iconic BBC sci-fi series with special events and a slew of product.
Marvel + Netflix: An Epic TV Deal Click here to read the article
Everyone loves a good comeback story. 2013 ended on a high note for Netflix as the online content provider battled back from the brink of extinction and became a content creator as well. In the process, the company proved that digital content could hold its own against the networks, and Marvel showed its confidence when it chose Netflix for its next superhero TV series.
Gwyneth Paltrow Wows Licensing Expo Click here to read the article
There was a lot of news to come out of June’s Licensing Expo in Las Vegas, Nev., with Flo Rida performing and attendance up 10 percent, but Gwyneth Paltrow’s keynote address took the cake.
Activision’s Skylanders Wins Program of the Year Click here to read the article
Always a highlight of the year, LIMA’s annual awards ceremony at Licensing Expo celebrated the best brands and extensions of the year, with Activision taking home the top prize for its Skylanders property.
Beanstalk Launches Digital Arm Click here to read this article
Digital properties have proven their strength over the last decade, and in a nod to this ever-growing field, Beanstalk, opened a division dedicated solely to digital properties.
Mattel Forms Content Division Click here to read the article
Gone are the days when companies stick to their own sandbox. Case in point–Mattel, which launched its own production company to create multi-platform content for brands like Barbie, Monster High and Hot Wheels.
WME Buys IMG Click here to read this article
This deal makes our list, not only because IMG is the biggest licensing agency in the world, but also because it was bought by another talent agency, thereby creating the largest talent management company in the world.
Myron Ullman Returns to JCPenney Click here to read the article
The former JCP CEO was reinstated when Ron Johnson (of Apple Store fame) stepped down last spring after his ambitious strategy to re-invent the department store failed to take hold with consumers, making this one of the most interesting retail sagas of the year. Adding to the drama was the retailer’s courtroom battle with Macy’s over the Martha Stewart brand.
Saban Debuts New Global CP Division Click here to read the article
Global expansion is a must these days, and Saban made a large step in that direction when it merged its domestic and international licensing divisions to take a cohesive approach worldwide.
ABG Buys Two Celebrity Brands Click here to read the article
After a number of acquisitions earlier in the year including the purchase of Juicy Couture, Authentic Brands Group closed out 2013 with a bang when it bought both the Elvis Presley and Muhammad Ali IP.
Sanrio Makes Hello Kitty a Super Hero Click here to read the article
Hello Kitty continued to reign supreme in the character world with a branded fleet of planes, crossovers with brands like KISS and Uglydoll and a superhero collaboration with DC Comics.
- eOne Acquires Art Impressions
- Sequential Buys Ellen Tracy, Caribbean Joe
- NBCU Buys Out Sprout Partners
- Kids II Purchases Baby Einstein
- Iconix Acquires Ecko Ultd.
- IMG To Rep Retired NFL Players
- TLC to Sweeten Hershey Brands
- IQ Society Focuses on IP
- Bravado Gets The Beatles
- Krispy Kreme Taps Brand Central
- Hub Plans KISS Hello Kitty Series
- Campbell's Comes to Keurig
- Cinnabon's New Product-Vodka
- Breyer's Unveils Girl Scouts Ice Cream
- New Monopoly Features Top Brands
Pop Culture Highlights
- Sony Opens Breaking Bad E-Store
- Sharknado Spins onto Shelves
- Grumpy Cat Gets a Reason to Smile
- Sony Picks Up Angry Birds Movie
- 'Office' Products to Continue Beyond Show
- MLB Brings Back the Starter Jacket
- Fifty Shades Lingerie Hits Australia
- BLE's Banner 15th Year
- WB, DC Prep for Superman's 75th
- Saban Kicks Off Power Rangers' 20th
- Rainbow Celebrates Winx Club
- Scholastic Expands Clifford Anniversary
- DreamWorks Appoints Retail Head
- Nick Names New CP President
- Iconix Names Brodsky as Peanuts MD
- Fremantle Names New Kids' Head
- Disney, ABC Plan New Millennial Brand
- CN, LEGO Create New Brand
- Saban Plans New Superhero Series
- YouTube Launches Paid Channels